So many people tell me stories about how the five practices of fruitful congregations have shaped their churches. I love to hear about big and audacious changes and new ministry initiatives. But I also love the simple shifts of perspective and practice as churches try new things.
The other day a lay woman from a small church told me about how she had been leading discussions about the book in her home over the last several weeks with about a dozen folks from her church. She had a big Tupperware bowl on a table, and as they finished the first night of discussions, she asked everyone to empty their pockets, purses, and wallets of changeÖ..not bills, just coins. Everyone played along, asking all kinds of questions, and trying to guess what she was up to. She repeated this mysterious and fun request each week as they read through the book together. A bunch of money was filling up the bowl!
On the last night as they talked about extravagant generosity, she revealed her plan. The money would go for Nothing but Nets, the extraordinary effort to saves lives in Africa by providing medicated mosquito nets to keep people from getting malaria. They had accumulated over $300 in change, enough to buy thirty nets! This painless and fun exercise while studying the book may save a childís life on the other side of the world.
I love that story. This small congregation is learning discipleship, deepening their own faith through study together, practicing a simple generosity, and changing the life of people they will never know while they are also changing themselves and their church.
How has your church changed a life this week in your community? How has your church touched a life this week on the other side of the world?
Yours in Christ,